By Alexandra Taylor
On May 23rd, 2015, Irish deputy prime minister and Labour party leader Joan Burton said, “The people of Ireland have struck a massive blow against discrimination.”[i] The ‘blow,’ many years in the making, was a landslide majority ‘Yes’ vote for legalizing same-sex marriage, making Ireland the first country to ever do so by popular vote. Over 1.2 million citizens voted in favor of gay marriage, representing 62% of Ireland’s electorate. Considering homosexuality was only decriminalized in Ireland twenty-two years ago in 1993, the vote was a major step forward in the nation’s progression towards a more secular, liberal society.
From landmark court cases to grassroots campaigns, the referendum had tremendous momentum behind it to increase its chance of success in the polls on May 22nd. The purpose of this article is to discuss the catalysts for the referendum, and to analyze what made this act of legislation possible at this moment. Through firsthand interviews, I reconstruct a narrative that draws upon the perspectives of the politicians, the campaign leaders, and the citizens who all played part in this pivotal event. I argue that there was more than marriage equality at stake in the referendum, not only for the homosexual population but for Irish people more broadly. Gay marriage is a social and political justice issue that has certainly been known to incite citizen action, but something about the way a real and rhetorical community formed around the referendum, campaigned for it tirelessly, and then collectively celebrated its legal victory suggests that unity, nationhood, and decency was on the ticket along with same-sex marriage. In what follows, I show that the ‘Yes’ vote was evidence of Irish people creating for themselves the type of world they desire to live in, and then presenting that vision to the international community as a testament to the nation’s collective aspiration.
“OUT FOR OURSELVES”[ii]
To explore how same-sex marriage garnered so much momentum, it is important to understand how the Irish national body differentiates itself from those of other countries through its background—namely its fraught history and largely homogenous population. Ethnic and racial minorities only make up about 12 percent of the Irish population, compared to only 6 percent at the beginning of the 21st century. The country’s small size (roughly about the same square mileage as the state of Indiana), rural topography, and geographical isolation from many other European countries may have contributed to Ireland’s homogeneity over time, but these factors have also served the Irish people well in terms of fostering a close-knit cultural experience. The traditional customs of Gaelic culture are deeply woven into the social fabric of the country, and Roman Catholicism, which is and has been the nation’s principal religion since the country converted to Christianity in the 5th century, has also been a backdrop against which much of the country’s unification has taken place.[iii] On a micro level, the LGBT community in Ireland has experienced similar periods of isolation and unification, not having gained visibility in mainstream Irish culture until the latter half of the 20th century. One of the earliest preeminent LGBT organizations in Ireland was the Dublin Lesbian and Gay Collective (henceforth referred to as “The Collective”), founded in 1981 by a small group of activists enraged at what they perceived to be outright violations of the social and civil liberties of Irish gay men and women. The Collective championed for LGBT rights from radical, feminist, and socialist perspectives. The size and organic, “ad-hoc” nature of the group gave it the agility that other more formal LGBT coalitions, such as the National Gay Federation and the Irish Gay Right Movement, lacked at that time. “Out for Ourselves: The Lives of Irish Lesbians and Gay Men,” published in 1986, details Irish “coming out” stories and featured an extensive account of the LGBT civil rights movement in Ireland up to the mid-1980s. Though many journalists overlook the publication and despite the fact thats the Collective disbanded in 1987, roots of this politically significant organization are still readily apparent. Many of the Collective’s members went on to form the Gay and Lesbian Equality Network (GLEN), which contributed significantly to the success of the Marriage Equality Referendum and serves as a tribute to the Collective’s legacy of perseverance.
THE BEGINNINGS OF A MOVEMENT
In 1989, Denmark passed the Registered Partnerships Act that granted same-sex unions many of same entitlements as heterosexual marriages, including tax breaks and the right to share benefits. However, the Act stopped short of calling these partnerships “marriages” and Danish couples were not lawfully permitted to be married in a state church, or to adopt a child.[iv] Considered an important step forward at the time, other countries followed suit throughout the 1990s until the Netherlands became the first country to fully legalize same-sex marriage in 2001. The Dutch law, unlike any before it, fully eliminated any distinction at all between heterosexual and homosexual marriages. However, the same could not be said for Irish law, which at that time did not legally recognize civil partnerships or any other such unions between LGBT couples.
Zappone v. Revenue Commissioners (“the KAL case”)
Anne Louise Gilligan and Katherine Zappone met in 1981 while studying Theology at Boston College in Massachusetts. In September 2003 the couple married in a civil ceremony in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada, where their marriage is legally valid. When they returned to Ireland in 2004, the couple wrote to the Revenue Commissioners—the Irish tax authorities—to inform them of their marriage and claim tax allowances (among other financial advantages) that are awarded to married heterosexual couples in Ireland. The Revenue Commissioners informed Katherine and Anne Louise that they would not authorize the couple’s tax claim because “the Oxford English Dictionary defines ‘husband’ as a married man and ‘wife’ as a married woman,” terms that Irish tax legislation makes use of but does not define independently.[v] The High Court of Ireland heard the case in 2006, at which time it was decided that the Irish constitution had always meant for marriage to be between a man and a woman, and that, although the constitution is a flexible document open to interpretation, it could not redefine historically upheld definitions of marriage. Justice Elizabeth Dunne, who ruled on the decision, also stated that the welfare of children would potentially be at stake if same-sex couples could be legally married. As Ronan Farren, Deputy Director of the Irish Labour Party, said, this legal case generated major interest in and new traction for same-sex marriage rights, similar to the way the AIDS crisis of the 80s made healthcare and spousal rights matters of key importance for same-sex couples.[vi] It wasn’t until 2010 that the Civil Partnership Act was put into place in Irish law, which recognized same-sex “unions” but not “marriages.” This discrepancy was a loophole through which many marital benefits awarded to heterosexual couples without question (including financial and healthcare-related spousal rights) would legally continue to be denied to homosexual couples. In undermining the eligibility of same-sex couples, the law fell short of providing full equality.
Marriage Equality: The Organization
In 2008, in the midst of Katherine and Anne Louise’s legal battles, Marriage Equality formed as “a not for profit, single issue, national grassroots advocacy organization” whose goal was “to achieve equality for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) people in Ireland through the extension of civil marriage rights to same-sex couples.”[vii] According to director Moninne Griffith, the original idea was to make same-sex marriage legal either through the courts or through legislation. They wanted to be sure that they targeted “all of the spheres—the legal, the political, and the public.”[viii] The organization had some initial difficulty gaining access to politicians, and the few they were able to contact had reservations about legalizing gay marriage. “They would often say, ‘not in my lifetime,’ or, ‘it’s not going to happen.’ It was a different climate back in 2008,” Griffith said. Griffith mentioned that there was even some resistance in the LGBT community itself from those who didn’t want to “rock the boat,” those who wanted to enact change incrementally instead of all at once with one legislative push, those who didn’t want to pursue the issue at all, and even radical feminists who don’t believe in marriage because it mimics the heteronormative patriarchy. All things considered, “it took an enormous amount of time to really get things going.” In April 2013, the landscape was altered following Ireland’s economic recession. The recession, although devastating, allowed Marriage Equality to make forward strides in their movement. The Labour Party came into power, and Marriage Equality worked with them to create a line about same-sex marriage in their general manifesto. Griffith said the grassroots feel of the organization softened people, and encouraged them to visit their local politicians in constituency clinics to express their support for the initiative, which is how momentum around the movement began to grow.
A Constitutional Convention
In 2011, per instruction from Ireland’s Attorney General, the first national Constitutional Convention was held in Ireland to decide on several proposed amendments to the Irish Constitution, as well as to discuss the interpretation of existing aspects of the document (including definitions, language, and the voting system). The convention was made up of 66 randomly selected, broadly representative Irish citizens, 33 nominated parliamentarians from each political party, and one independent chairman. One of the main issues up for discussion was constitutional provision for same-sex marriage, which had become a controversial topic due to the sociopolitical climate created by the KAL case and increased visibility of early Marriage Equality campaigns. When the twelve-month Convention had concluded in 2013, public attention was focused largely on this issue of same-sex marriage, and in 2014 Taoiseach Edna Kenny announced that there would be a national referendum the following spring. Griffith said that Marriage Equality initially resisted the idea of the Convention. She explained, “We didn’t think it was a good idea to have the majority people voting on minority rights. Generally that isn’t a good idea. That’s why we have a constitution—to protect minority rights. But it was the only show in town, so we had to get on board if we wanted to make marriage equality happen.” As it turned out, the convention was instrumental in creating positive public discourse around the issue. There were reportedly over 1000 applications for the 66 citizen seats in the convention, and ultimately all 100 participants voted 3-1 in favor of constitutional reform to allow for civil same-sex marriage.
On January 11th, 2015, Rory O’Neill, also known as drag performer and LGBT activist Panti Bliss, appeared on The Saturday Night Show and publicly remarked on homophobia in modern Ireland.[ix] His comments included how “people who make a living writing opinion pieces for newspapers” often get away unscathed when making derogatory comments about gay people. His naming of various newspaper columnists during this discussion led the show’s broadcaster, RTÉ, to redact the episode from its online player due to “potential legal issues and for reasons of sensitivity following the death of Tom O’Gorman,” a popular journalist who had been murdered the week prior and whom O’Neill did not mention in his commentary. RTÉ apologized on behalf of O’Neill and reportedly paid out over 80,000 Euro to various members of the Iona Institute, a Catholic lobbying group, whom O’Neill had mentioned in his comments. This event incited major public debate surrounding homophobia and RTÉ’s treatment of gay people on their network. On February 1st, O’Neill took the stage at the Abbey Theatre as Panti Bliss and made a powerful speech on how it feels to be discriminated against on the basis of sexual orientation. Panti said:
People who have never experienced homophobia in their lives, people who have never checked themselves at a pedestrian crossing, have told me that unless I am being thrown in prison or herded onto a cattle train, that it is not homophobia. And that feels oppressive. And so now, Irish gay people, we find ourselves in this ludicrous situation where not only are we not allowed to say publicly what we feel oppressed by, we’re not even allowed to think it, because our definition has been disallowed by our betters. And for the last three weeks I have been denounced…for using “hate speech” because I dared to use the word “homophobia”, and a jumped-up queer like me should know that the word homophobia is no longer available to gay people…and now it turns out that gay people are not the victims of homophobia—homophobes are the victims of homophobia.[x]
She received a standing ovation. The following day more than 2,000 people gathered in Dublin city centre for a protest sponsored by LGBT Noise against homophobia in Irish media. The speech went viral, putting an international spotlight on Panti herself and on LGBT rights. The injustice she faced from RTÉ and the profound speech she gave in response made her one of the most prominent voices in the campaign for marriage equality. O’Neill told Independent.co.uk that he received “thousands of emails from gay people…people in wheelchairs and with autism…and from women.”[xi] He also said that people are united in their experiences of oppression and that he hoped his speech would start conversations about homophobia within families; a lot of gay people thanked him for his words. By drawing attention to the basic rights that gay people deserve but are not awarded, Panti Bliss advocated not only for herself but also for oppressed people from all walks of life. The intense social activism she incited suggests that there was more at stake in the referendum than same-sex marriage rights. As the LGBT community came into focus just months before the referendum date, Irish people expressed a growing interest in and a deepening concern for how gay people are treated and how homophobia manifests in their society. Voting ‘Yes’ on gay marriage became equated with voting ‘Yes’ to a society that encourages and values respect for everyone, regardless of sexual orientation.
CAMPAIGN STRATEGIES: WHAT, WHY, & HOW
The Human Story
“The real ethos of the campaign,” Griffith remarked, “was the human story. The personal stories that people shared that everyone could relate to or find empathy for. This needed to inform all the work we were doing, even with politicians.” For instance, adults and young adults from the LGBT community were brought in to talk to the politicians directly so that a face could be put to the issue. To figure out what angle Marriage Equality would need to use with certain politicians to convince them to support same-sex marriage, the organization conducted extensive research into their backgrounds and passions outside of politics. Often this led to a familial or otherwise relational connection that would help Marriage Equality convince the politicians to express support. The importance of the human story is a thread that runs throughout the narrative surrounding the referendum. With the Labour Party making up 10-15% of the voting population at that time, Farren noted how necessary it was to initiate campaigns that touched people’s hearts—not just their minds. The main Labour Party spokesperson for same-sex marriage was chosen to be a married, heterosexual white man with children. While this may have seemed counterintuitive at the time, Farren said it was designed to attract more votes. Polling had revealed that while most women in the Labour Party’s voting population were in favor of same-sex marriage, heterosexual men were the one of the largest demographics not in favor. These men cited “unspecified” reasons—something made them uncomfortable, something felt “off” or “not right,” but they couldn’t articulate what it was. The spokesperson was chosen so that this group of voters, whose support was crucial to the success of the referendum, could connect and identify with a man who “looked” like them, ideologically if not physically, and understand how he might arrive at the decision to support same-sex marriage. At the same time, both the Labour Party and Marriage Equality felt that they risked alienating people if their campaigns placed too much explicit emphasis on electoral politics , so it was all the more important for these organizations to address their audiences not just as “voters” but as mothers, fathers, children, friends, coworkers, siblings, and Irish citizens.
The Role of the Media
At about 100 days before the referendum date, the Gay and Lesbian Equality Network (GLEN) launched YES Equality, a campaign that made extensive use of social media platforms to publicize promotional pictures and videos. Another campaign out of Trinity College Dublin put out one particularly resonant video titled “#RingYourGranny for Marriage Equality,” which received over 68,000 views on YouTube and was picked up by other media news outlets such as Entertainment.ie, The Irish Times, and Out.com.[xii] The video opens with a montage of young people looking slightly nervous as they dial their grandparents to ask their opinion on the referendum. The video was based on the premise of uncertainty for how older age groups would vote (as opposed to younger age groups, who were expected to vote ‘Yes’). While some grandparents expressed full support, others weren’t as sure. The video was aimed at getting younger generations involved in the momentum of the campaign, closing with “If we want to play a part in this referendum, the simplest way is to talk about it with those who aren’t as sure.” It attracted attention for its tenderness and humor, but also for the way it portrayed same-sex marriage as an issue that could be discussed in families—one that could help bridge the gap between generations. It was important for all campaigns to involve the media because, as Griffith noted, the media in Ireland has the most persuasive power. “Local stories are far more convincing than a politician on TV,” she said, “and it was revolutionary at the time to get people outside the city to talk about their experiences. It was important to have other voices besides the gays from Dublin city center.” Farren, who served on the board of Marriage Equality in addition to his role at the Labour Party, also spoke about the necessity of running a tight, broadly focused 4-6 week campaign for the purposes of stronger media coverage. Irish media law mandates that broadcasters give equal time to both the ‘For’ and ‘Against’ sides of any debatable issue: a shorter campaign meant that each side would have less debate time on air, which the Labour Party felt would have the best implications for the outcome of the referendum since there would inevitably be less opportunities for the opposition to present inimical arguments. Farren noted that the campaign also paid special attention to how their tone came across in the media—it was imperative not to call anyone “homophobic” or to use derogatory language of any kind. Keeping the campaign broad also meant keeping it positive and focused on individual stories of equality. The message was about extending the definition of marriage to include gay couples, not to detract from the marriages of straight ones. “All in all, it mobilized very well,” Farren commented.
Children and the Opposition
Another goal of both the Labour Party and of Marriage Equality was to neutralize a major issue that the opposition clung to throughout the campaign period: that of the welfare of children raised by same-sex couples. Religious, political, and social conservatives often argued that being raised by two parents of the same sex puts children at an all-around disadvantage. The Labour Party offset this argument by having children of LGBT couples speak publicly about their positive experiences being raised by their parents. The point of this was to refute the opposition’s claim, but also to show that LGBT couples had already been (and continue to be) raising children and having families together, long before the referendum became a political talking point. Marriage Equality also stressed the importance of making their campaign visible to the public eye. Posters of “ordinary LGBT families” were put up around the city and sponsored by Dublin city buses for the summer to help dispel myths and fears about LGBT people having kids and raising families. “We felt it was important to show the kids, that way people could see for themselves that [the kids] turn out fine—high functioning, smart, ordinary kids. It’s not like they have three heads or something,” Griffith commented. The Labour Party anticipated oppositional arguments surrounding surrogacy and adoption, so they worked to put legislation in place legalizing adoption for same-sex couples in March 2015, two months before the referendum was held. When the opposition did ultimately argue that same-sex marriage would “disturb the traditional family unit,” it dramatically backfired because the heteronormative “traditional family unit” was no longer the status quo, and their argument insulted many families who existed outside an ideal that no longer applied to people outside of a small portion of the middle class. Many citizens, especially those in whose lives gay families have a presence, were no longer tolerant of lectures on traditional heteronormative values.
REFERENDUM RESULTS AND PUBLIC PERCEPTIONS
When the Netherlands legalized gay marriage in 2001, the vote had been a “foregone conclusion” according to the Washington Post. Fourteen years later, Farren and Griffith were similarly confident about the passing of the Irish Referendum. In months leading up to the campaign, market research showed that there was an increase in public support and, shortly thereafter, Marriage Equality was able to garner cross-party support for the vote. “The campaign was really building momentum and people were on paper as supporters of marriage equality, so we knew pretty much who was going to be voting ‘Yes’,” Griffith said. Both Farren and Griffith described the referendum as “like pushing an open door” in the sense that they knew they had the support of the majority voting population behind them. “The campaign wasn’t just how many gay couples wanted to get married, it was also about issues of kin support and also just about principles of equality,” Farren said.
The Results Are In[xiii]
If anything above 50% ‘Yes’ would’ve be considered a resounding win, then the 62% ‘Yes’ vote that was revealed on May 23rd, 2015 might be best described as a phenomenon. The turnout was 60.5%, the highest for any referendum since the Divorce referendum that took place in 1995. Only one constituency out of forty-three voted ‘No’, eliminating the fear of a divide between urban cities like Dublin and the more rural parts of the country. The vote was strongest among young people, women, and working class voters, yet just the sheer scale of ‘Yes’ to ‘No’ votes (62% ‘Yes’ versus 38% ‘No’)xiii reflects the intensity of the cultural progression which took place in the 22 years between the decriminalization of homosexuality and the legalization of marriage equality. An astounding 96% of new voters who registered to vote in the referendum actually showed up on voting day. The hashtag #HomeToVote represented how many young emigrants returned home to Ireland to participate. As Conor Payne writes in his Socialist Alternative article “Massive ‘Yes’ to Irish Marriage Equality Referendum,” “The scale of the victory…demolishes the myth of an innately conservative silent majority and points to the forces who are the real agents of change and progress in Irish society.” Griffith commented, “The campaign really reaped the benefits of the eight years of hard work we had done prior. People in local groups across the country, of which there were over 60, were all on-message. Everyone knew what they were talking about. It was like putting the roof on a house we had built.” To this effect, Irish Health Minister Leo Varadkar, who came out in 2015 as the country’s first openly gay minister, said the campaign was like “a social revolution.” This “social revolution” was on full display at the Dublin Castle that day, where the rainbow colors of the international gay movement lit up the cobblestone courtyard and over 2000 people gathered to celebrate. The symbolization of celebrating at such a historical landmark is purposeful—it represents a change made that would not have been possible on those very grounds even just a few decades earlier. Today, the Irish constitution boldly reflects this embracement of equality with the words “Marriage may be contracted in accordance with the law by two persons without distinction as to their sex.” This gives equality not only to same-sex couples, but also for those who choose not to identify within the gender binary.
Public Perceptions: Irish Nationhood, History, Religion, and Pride[xiv]
Dean and Luke, a gay couple in their early thirties living in Dublin, attributed the success of the vote not only to the creativity of campaigns like YES Equality and the #CallYourGranny Campaign, but also to the small size of their nation. “They say there are only six degrees of separation between strangers—in Ireland, there’s even fewer than six,” Dean said. Luke agreed that the close-knit social tapestry of the nation made it so that everyone knew at least one person who would be affected by the decision on same-sex marriage. He said, “It would have been a close enough connection that even a rural granny would stop and think, ‘How can I vote ‘no’?’” Social media coverage of Panti Bliss helped to bring on board people who simply felt the need to stand up to such an extreme shortcoming of justice. Dean and Luke also discussed the role of the country’s history, saying: “People are more willing to get on board with things because that’s always been our way. We have always had to deal straight on with issues we face. There is nothing in our history we have hid from, so we don’t run away when there’s a problem. People supported the majority thinking even if they were somewhat on the fence about the issue, because they recognized that, in one way or another, it was for the greater good of the country.” The declining role of the Catholic Church also contributed significantly: “In some areas,” Luke said, “older people left their congregations because they didn’t want to be told how to vote.” Farren agreed that these days in Ireland, people under 30 years old aren’t diligent about their church attendance anymore. Though 85% of the country still identifies as Roman Catholic, the church plays a less distinct role in daily life now that its moral authority has been challenged due to corruption and sexual abuse scandals.[xv] A group of straight women in their fifties attested to the conflict that their age-group felt between the referendum and the teachings of the church; one woman said she felt like it came down to a question of whether a person stood by the church, or didn’t. She went to Catholic school as a child and felt that the religious conflicts with same-sex marriage took her a long time to process. However, in a nod to the issue’s fundamental complexity, the women also expressed their belief that gay marriage progressing forward before women’s rights such as abortion and contraception is “backwards.” A strong sense of Irish pride was one aspect of the ‘Yes’ vote that Dean, Luke, and the older straight women all agreed on despite differences in sex, age group, and sexual orientation. The women expressed that the country felt a strong sense of nationalistic pride knowing that they would be the first country to do this by popular vote. Dean and Luke agreed that everyone was “very aware” of the international attention this would attract. “We knew that if we were the first country to do something like this, other countries would not be far behind. And look what’s happened in the U.S. already,” Dean said, referring to the June 26, 2015 nationwide ruling on legalizing same sex marriage in the United States. The women also noted that the popular cultural belief was that other countries had an impression of Ireland as being “behind the times,” and this served as incentive to vote ‘Yes’ because people wanted to prove that Ireland had “caught up with the rest of the world.” Panti Bliss encapsulated these comments when she remarked, “I think (outsiders) are still hung up on the idea that Ireland is some sort of very conservative country ruled by the Catholic Church.” If anything, the ‘Yes’ vote certainly challenges this perspective. Griffith had other thoughts about the final vote, concluding, “The lesson? Change doesn’t happen overnight. It takes time, coalition building, softening both political and public opinion. It takes data, and it takes a solid evidence base…But that wasn’t the point for Irish people. They don’t care if they’d be the last country on Earth to vote ‘Yes’. It wasn’t about that so much as fair play—that is deep rooted in the Irish psyche.”
“WHO WE ARE”
Prime Minister Edna Kenny best captured the essence of what the referendum truly stands for in Irish society when she said, “With today’s vote we have disclosed who we are: a generous, compassionate, bold and joyful people.”xvi His comments suggest relief, as if the true core of the Irish culture had been present all along and, with the passing of the referendum, was finally revealed for all to see. This was a vote for marriage equality, but it was also a vote for generosity, for love, for compassion, for diversity, and for inclusion. The word ‘Yes’ emerged with the power of the nation invested in it. Saying ‘Yes’ was about showing the world that the change had already been made and that the country had already transformed—the vote for same-sex marriage merely made it official. It meant more than just tolerating gay marriage, more than just awarding tax benefits to gay couples—it meant sharing a deep sense of Irish-ness through enacting social change as one unified body. It was about making LGBT Irish citizens an equal part of Irish society, which YES Equality summed up beautifully with the words, “It means that all of us—lesbian, gay, straight, family members, friends, colleagues, allies, voters—belong equally to the Irish national family.”[xvi] It was about the sense of national pride that came with presenting Ireland at its best—a fairer, better Ireland where Irish people actively make their country, and the world, a better place to live by offering a fundamental right to those who were denied eligibility for so long. In the preface to “Out for Ourselves,” the Collective authors write that the project of creating the book “was ambitious and the work involved much pain and sweat. There were some disappointments and conflicts and at times many of us would have abandoned the whole project. But the book had become too important for the collectives involved, for the many other contributors, and we think, for Irish lesbians and gays generally. So we carried on. We are now sure that it was worth it.”[xvii] The same can be said for the Marriage Equality Referendum as a type of national project. It involved diligent, conscientious work on the part of countless volunteers, campaigners, politicians, activists, and LGBT community members, and it ended up teaching the whole country an invaluable lesson about one another and the nation.
[i] McDonald, Henry. “Ireland Becomes First Country to Legalise Gay Marriage by Popular Vote.” The Guardian 23 May 2015, The Observer sec. Print.
[ii] Irish Queer Archive. “FADÓ FADÓ: Dublin Gay Collective founded 1st July 1982.” Facebook. 1 July 2013. [25 Aug 2015. <www.facebook.com>
[iii] “Ireland”. Encyclopædia Britannica. Encyclopædia Britannica Online. Encyclopædia Britannica Inc., 2016. Web. 23 Feb. 2016 <http://www.britannica.com/place/Ireland/The-Republic-of-Ireland>.
[iv] Taylor, Adam. “What Was the First Country to Legalize Gay Marriage?” The Washington Post 26 June 2015, WorldViews sec. Print.
[v] “About Katherine & Ann Louise.” Marriage Equality. Web. 25 Aug. 2015.
[vi] “Interview with Ronan Farren.” Personal interview. 19 Aug. 2015.
[vii] “Who We Are.” Marriage Equality. N.p., n.d. Web. 25 Aug. 2015.
[viii] “Interview with Moninne Griffith.” Personal interview. 26 Aug. 2015.
[ix] O’Carroll, Sinead. “Part of The Saturday Night Show Removed from RTÉ Player over ‘legal Issues’.” Thejournal.ie. N.p., 15 Jan. 2015. Web. 25 Aug. 2015.
[x] Daly, Susan, and Rory O’Neill/YouTube. “Watch Panti’s Powerful Speech about Oppression of Gay People.” Thejournal.ie. N.p., 2 Feb. 2015. Web. 25 Aug. 2015.
[xi] Attwood, Karen. “Drag Queen Panti Bliss on the Irish Same-sex Marriage Referendum, International Fame and the Changing Gay Scene.” Independent. N.p., 11 Apr. 2015. Web. 25 Aug. 2015.
[xii] #RingYourGranny for Marriage Equality – TCDSU. Prod. Zooko Creative. YouTube, 15 Mar. 2015. Web. 25 Aug. 2015.
[xiii] Payne, Conor. “Massive ‘Yes’ to Marriage Equality Referendum.” Socialist Alternative. N.p., 29 May 2015. Web. 25 Aug. 2015.
[xiv] “Interview with Dean and Luke.” Personal interview. 6 Aug. 2015; “Interview at Panti Bar.” Personal interview. 12 Aug. 2015.
[xv] Hjelmgaard, Kim. “Ireland Legalizes Gay Marriage in Historic Vote.” USA Today. N.p., 24 May 2015. Web. 25 Aug. 2015.
[xvi] YES Equality. N.p., 23 May 2015. Web. 25 Aug. 2015.
[xvii] “Out for Ourselves – The Lives of Irish Lesbians & Gay Men – 1986.” Web log post. Brand New Retro. N.p., 27 June 2014. Web. 25 Aug. 2015.